Sunny Scotland is a great place to show off your rain boots and raincoat every single day of your next trip. It has it all: cities, sheep, cows who rock bangs all day every day and areas so beautiful you won’t believe they’re real. The people have accents to die for and the buildings are so old they seem to jump out of a gothic novel.
Edinburgh is an incredibly old and beautiful city. The ancient buildings are complexly ornate, to the point that you could stare at one for an hour and still discover new, intricate details. Places like the Scott Monument and Edinburgh Castle provide insanely beautiful views of the city, while also being must-see landmarks themselves. Ironically, this old city is populated largely by the young. With its many universities, festivals like the Fringe in August and an abundant amount of bars, it is a great place to hang out for college-aged students. For those who aren’t too fond of other people, Edinburgh is conveniently placed just next to Arthur’s Seat, an idyllic, green mountain within walking distance of the city. Harry Potter fans may also delight in the graves of the namesakes of famous characters in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Just a tip: Tom Riddle’s grave is the one surrounded by nearly a foot of muck imprinted with hundreds of footprints.
Glasgow is more than just a lyric from Abba’s “Super Trouper,” it is the largest city in Scotland. The buildings are much newer than those in Edinburgh, and considerably less pretty, except for certain areas where a few older structures were built. For this reason, it is the perfect place to go for American favorites like Dunkin Donuts and Taco Bell, which don’t exist in most of the country. Great places to see there include the six-story cinema, Cineworld, which features fully stocked candy and refreshment stores on every level, and People’s Palace which holds both a slightly outdated history of the city, as well as a gorgeous greenhouse of exotic plants. Glasgow is also one of the vegan capitals of the world and has vegan options in practically every restaurant. For bookish people, there is a wonderful bookshop called Voltaire and Rousseau that has cheap, old books for sale vaguely organized in large, overflowing piles around the store.
If anyone is looking for a college in Scotland to spend a semester abroad, the University of Stirling is the place for you. It lies just at the entrance of the Highlands, surrounded by incredible mountains and farmlands. A beautiful pond and river, as well as its own castle work to make the university itself more beautiful than the surrounding scenery. Basically it is the postcard picture of Scotland, with the added bonus of a student union that sells alcohol. Never forget that the drinking age in this country is just 18, making it a very nice place for the sadly underaged (i.e. most of the students in junior year and younger at UConn) to stay.
Minus the questionable tartan and bagpipe music, Scotland is an incredibly beautiful and interesting place to visit. With luck, you’ll end up with some great memories and a long-lasting Scottish accent. Have fun planning your next trip!
Rebecca Maher is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.